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Jan 25, 2013


* Michigan - Toyota Is Test Driving Autonomous Vehicles In

(Image of Toyota's advanced active safety research vehicle, based on its Lexus LS model. Toyota in January 2013 announced it had been developing autonomous, or self-driving, vehicle technology at research facilities in Michigan, USA and Japan) 
Ann Arbor,MICH,USA -TPM, by Carl Franzen -January 21, 2013: -- Toyota and Audi turned heads earlier this month by announcing that they were following in Google’s tracks and developing partially self-driving, or “autonomous” vehicle technology systems of their own. At that time, Toyota noted in press materials that it has been testing one such semi-autonomous vehicle system — the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), which uses short wave radio signals to have cars communicate with other vehicles and surrounding infrastructure to avoid collisions — at a simulated city inside its Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Japan. Toyota also said that further “research and development will continue at Toyota Research Institute, North America (TRiNA), in Ann Arbor, Mich” ... 

* DC - Better than advertised: Fiat 500e rated at 116 mpg-e

Washington,DC,USA -Gizmag, by C.C. Weiss -January 22, 2013: -- When Fiat revealed the 500e at the L.A. Auto Show, it estimated that its first U.S. electric car would score a miles per gallon gasoline equivalent fuel economy of 116 mpg-e city, 100 mpg-e highway and 108 mpg-e. The official Environmental Protection Agency rating is in, and it's significantly better than estimated... The EPA rates the 2013 500e at 122 mpg-e city, 108 mpg-e highway and 116 mpg-e combined. Fiat says that the 108 mpg-e highway figure is the best among U.S.-market electric vehicles... The 500e is powered by a 111-hp electric motor. Fiat added a series of eight aerodynamic improvements to the car to boost aerodynamics by 13 percent... 

* Michigan - Chrysler eliminates shift at Dundee Engine Plant 
Dundee,MICH,USA -The Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman -January 25, 2013: -- Chrysler Group LLC has eliminated one shift at its Dundee Engine Plant, another sign of trouble for the new Dodge Dart... On Thursday, workers at the factory told The Detroit News that several probationary employees had lost their jobs. The company confirmed that 14 probationary employees had been let go and said the other 44 workers on the shift had been reassigned to other jobs at the plant...


* DC - Honda Recalls 748,000 Pilot SUVs, Odyssey Minivans For Airbag Defect

(Photo: 2012 Honda Pilot)
Washington,DC,USA -The Car Connection, by Suzanne Kane -Jan 24, 2013: -- Honda is conducting a voluntary safety recall of 748,000 Pilot SUVs and Odyssey minivans in the U.S. for a potential airbag defect... Its plans to recall certain 2009 through 2013 Honda Pilot and 2011 through 2013 Honda Odyssey vehicles... Honda said to the NHTSA that during assembly, it is possible that not all six rivets affixing the cover were installed. The possible consequence, according to Honda: “The absence of one or more of the rivets could alter the performance of the driver’s airbag during deployment, potentially increasing the risk of injury during a crash” ...



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